The crisis in the meaning of freedom -- What is freedom? -- Limiting freedom -- Freedom and justice -- Why we should accept this view of freedom -- Conditions that make us more free -- Applying the theory to the real world --Conclusion -- Appendix for professional philosophers -- Notes.
We are pleased to annouce that God’s Companions by Samuel Wells has been shortlisted for the 2007 Michael Ramsey Prize for theological writing. www.michaelramseyprize.org.uk Grounded in Samuel Wells’ experience of ordinary lives in poorer neighborhoods, this book presents a striking and imaginative approach to Christian ethics. It argues that Christian ethics is founded on God, on the practices of human community, and on worship, and that ethics is fundamentally a reflection of God's abundance. Wells synthesizes dogmatic, liturgical, (...) ethical, scriptural, and pastoral approaches to theology in order to make a bold claim for the centrality of the local church in theological reflection. He considers the abundance of gifts God gives through the practices of the Church, particularly the Eucharist. His central thesis, which governs his argument throughout, is that God gives his people everything they need to worship him, be his friends, and eat with him. Wells engages with serious scholarly material, yet sets out the issues lucidly for a student audience. (shrink)
The paradox of analysis has been a problem for analytic philosophers at least since Moore’s time, and it is especially significant for those who seek an account of analysis along classical lines. The present paper offers a new solution to the paradox, where a theory of analysis is given where (1) analysandum and analysans are distinct concepts, due to their failing to share the same conceptual form, yet (2) they are related in virtue of satisfying various semantic constraints on the (...) analysis relation. Rather than distinguish between analysandum and analysans by appeal to epistemic considerations, the paper appeals to semantic considerations in giving a candidate account of the identity conditions for concepts. The distinctness of analysandum and analysans then serves to block the paradox in a straightforward way. (shrink)
Quine famously argued that analyticity is indefinable, since there is no good account of analyticity in terms of synonymy, and intensions are of no help since there are no intensions. Yet if there are intensions, the question still remains as to the right account of analyticity in terms of them. On the assumption that intensions must be admitted, the present paper considers two such accounts. The first analyzes analyticity in terms of concept identity, and the second analyzes analyticity in terms (...) of the analysis relation. The first fails in light of possible counterexamples. The second is defended, both by considering test cases of intuitively clear analyticities, and by developing the account in light of possible counterexamples. (shrink)
It might be thought that vagueness precludes the possibility of classical conceptual analysis and, thus, that the classical or definitional view of the nature of complex concepts is incorrect. The present paper argues that classical analysis can be had for concepts expressed by vague language since (1) all of the general theories of vagueness are compatible with the thesis that all complex concepts have classical analyses and also that (2) the meaning of vague expressions can be analyzed by having the (...) degree of vagueness of a given analysandum be mapped onto the vagueness of an analysans. (shrink)
Despite the importance of research on repression to the study of social movements, few researchers have focused on developing a refined and powerful conceptualization of repression. To address the difficulties such theoretical inattention produces, three key dimensions of repression are outlined and crossed to produce a repression typology. The merit of this typology for researchers is shown by using the typology to: (1) reorganize major research findings on repression; (2) diagnose theoretical and empirical oversights and missteps in the study of (...) repression; and (3) develop new hypotheses about explanatory factors related to repression and relationships between different forms of repression. Such a typology represents an important step toward creating richer theoretical explanations of repression. (shrink)
The problem of horrendous evil is the problem of reconciling the existence of horrendous evils with the existence of a God that is nevertheless good to individuals. A solution to the problem along the lines of that proposed by Morilyn McCord Adams resolves the problem by appeal to various sorts of intimacy with God on the part of the participants in horrendous evils. One half of the problem concerns the victims of horrendous evils. A second half of the problem of (...) horrendous evil is the same problem for those perpetrators of horrendous evils who also potentially have their lives defeated. The present paper argues not only that the intimacy such an overall strategy appeals to fails to solve the first half of the problem, but also that it makes no progress at all on the second half. (shrink)
In determining when sexual behavior in the workplace creates a hostile working environment, some courts have asked, Would a reasonableperson view this as a hostile environment? Two recent court decisions, recognizing male-female differences in the perception of social sexual behavior at work, modified this standard to ask, Would a reasonablevictim view this as a hostile environment? As yet, there is no consensus in the legal community regarding which of these standards is just.We propose that moral theory provides the framework from (...) which business people can construct just procedures regarding sexually hostile environments. We argue that the natural duty of mutual respect of persons and the natural duty not to harm the innocent compels business people to identify sexually hostile work environments from the perspective of the reasonable victim, usually from the woman's perspective. (shrink)
Abstract This paper explores gender and mental health with particular reference to the emerging philosophical field of critical realism. This philosophy suggests a shared ontology and epistemology for the natural and social sciences. Until recently, most of the debate surrounding gender and mental health has been guided either implicitly or explicitly within a positivist or constructivist philosophy. With this in mind, key areas of critical realism are explored in relation to gender and mental health, and contrasted with the positions of (...) positivism and constructivism. It is argued that critical realism offers an alternative philosophical framework for the exploration of gender issues within mental health care. (shrink)
This paper explores the influence of group context on the ethical predispositions of group members. Results indicate that groups exert a powerful influence on individuals' ethical frameworks, and that the patterns of these influences differ depending on the type of ethical framework involved. Individuals' ethical utilitarianism was affected by both leadership style and group cohesiveness. Ethical formalism was most affected by the leadership style in the group.
In recent years ethical purchasing policies have been promoted as potentially effective and promising ways of combatting global inequality and oppressive labour practices in developing countries. These initiatives have been launched on university campuses with the hope of opening a new front for improving labour rights under conditions of neo-liberal globalization. This paper is an attempt to respond to the critics of these policies, and especially their claims that ethical purchasing may have the perverse effect of increasing job losses and (...) undercutting economic development in poorer countries. Although it can be shown that these criticisms are misguided, it is important to acknowledge that ethical purchasing should not be seen as a full-blown alternative to the kind of progress that can be achieved through state-centred labour regulation. Nevertheless, the new role of universities as monitors of corporate responsibility remains a promising one. (shrink)
The story of God -- The story of the church -- The story of ethics -- The story of Christian ethics -- Universal ethics -- Subversive ethics -- Ecclesial ethics -- Good order -- Good life -- Good relationships -- Good beginnings and endings -- Good earth.
Barsalou's theory rightly emphasizes the perceptual basis of cognition. However, the perceptual symbols that he proposes seem ill suited to carry the representational burden entailed by the architecture in which they function, given that Barsalou accepts the requirement for productivity. A more radical proposal is needed in which symbols are largely external to the cognizer and linked to internal states via perception.
Given the inexperience, misconceptions and misgivings students often bring to a first course in philosophy, we present an activity that acquaints students with the main areas of philosophical inquiry and the tools philosophers use. Students engage in philosophical thinking by reflecting on and answering questions, defending and discussing their answers, and modifying or rejecting views in light of this discussion. The activity introduces students to conceptual analysis, argument, thought-experiment, and the use of counterexampleswhile simultaneously emphasizing and illuminating students’ natural tendency (...) to think philosophically. (shrink)
In a recent paper, Lyngzeidetson  has claimed that a type of parallel computer called the ‘Connection Machine’ instantiates architectural principles which will ‘revolutionize which "functions" of the human mind can and cannot be modelled by (non-human) computational automata.’ In particular, he claims that the Connection Machine architecture shows the anti-mechanist argument from Gödel's theorem to be false for at least one kind of parallel computer. In the first part of this paper, I argue that Lyngzeidetson's claims are not supported (...) by his arguments; in the second part I consider some other aspects of parallel computation which may be of theoretical significance in cognitive science. (shrink)
The Church-Turing Thesis (CTT) is often paraphrased as ``every computable function is computable by means of a Turing machine.'' The author has constructed a family of equational theories that are not Turing-decidable, that is, given one of the theories, no Turing machine can recognize whether an arbitrary equation is in the theory or not. But the theory is called pseudorecursive because it has the additional property that when attention is limited to equations with a bounded number of variables, one obtains, (...) for each number of variables, a fragment of the theory that is indeed Turing-decidable. In a 1982 conversation, Alfred Tarski announced that he believed the theory to be decidable, despite this contradicting CTT. The article gives the background for this proclamation, considers alternate interpretations, and sets the stage for further research. (shrink)
Lifelines discusses two approaches to biology, “ultra-Darwinism” which Rose criticises, and the “homeodynamic perspective,” which he offers as an alternative. This review suggests that ultra-Darwinism is a caricature of the theoretical positions Rose wishes to oppose and that the homeodynamic perspective is not an alternative, but is complementary to so-called ultra-Darwinism.
Vera & Simon (1993a) have argued that the theories and methods known as situated action or situativity theory are compatible with the assumptions and methodology of the physical symbol systems hypothesis and do not require a new approach to the study of cognition. When the central criterion of computational universality is added to the loose definition of a symbol system which Vera and Simon provide, it becomes apparent that there are important incompatibilities between the two approaches such that situativity theory (...) cannot be subsumed within the symbol systems approach. Symbol systems and situativity theoretic approaches are, and should be seen to be, competing approaches to the study of cognition. (shrink)
The study explored the motivations behind Australian wool producers’ intentions regarding mulesing; a surgical procedure that will be voluntarily phased out after 2010, following retailer boycotts led by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Telephone interviews were conducted with 22 West Australian wool producers and consultants to elicit their behavioral, normative and control beliefs about mulesing and alternative methods of breech strike prevention. Results indicate that approximately half the interviewees intend to continue mulesing, despite attitudes toward the act of (...) mulesing being quite negative. This indicates that attitudes alone are unlikely to be good predictors of this goal directed behavior. Most respondents believed mulesing was more effective and involved less cost, time, and effort than the currently available alternatives to prevent breech strike. Further, they felt relatively little social pressure, as they believed few consumers were concerned about mulesing. However, they noted that if consumer sentiment changed they would likely change their practices. Thus, attitudes are likely to be only one of several factors influencing intentions to change farm practices to address societal concerns about animal welfare. Further, mulesing appears to be goal - directed behavior , suggesting that other factors depicted by the Model of Goal-directed Behavior (MGB; Perugini and Bagozzi In: Br J Soc Psychol, 40: 79–98, 2001 ) may be worth exploring in this context. Finally, these results provide insight into how policy makers may influence farmers to change practices in response to societal pressure for improving farm animal welfare. (shrink)